Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has confirmed what we’ve all been thinking: Will is gay and he’s in love with Mike.
Season 4 of Stranger Things was a humbling reminder to other shows that nothing is operating on its pop-culture scale. From the Running Up That Hill fever of Volume 1 to Eddie’s Metallica solo in Volume 2, it has dominated the world – arguably more than Game of Thrones at the peak of its powers.
It’s dominated social media discourse in plenty of other ways too, whether it’s people grieving the losses of certain characters, applauding the demise of others, or most notably, the debate around the portrayal of Will’s sexuality.
After some back and forth, with some fans accusing the show of “queerbaiting”, Schnapp has now confirmed that Will is in fact gay.
Will is gay and loves Mike, Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp confirms
Throughout Season 4, it’s implied that Will has feelings for Mike, particularly after his reunion with Eleven. In Volume 2, two poignant scenes all but confirm it: Will and Mike’s heart-to-heart in the van, where he reveals his painting; and Will’s emotional talk with his brother Jonathan.
However, the word “gay” is never used, nor is it explicitly said in any other terms. Now, Schnapp has spoken out more decisively about the speculation.
In an interview with Variety, he said: “Obviously, it was hinted at in Season 1: It was always kind of there, but you never really knew, is it just him growing up slower than his friends?
“Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it’s 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike. But before, it was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully, because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay.
“People have come up to me – I was just in Paris and this, like, 40-year-old man came up to me and he was like, ‘Wow, this Will character made me feel so good. And I related to it so much. That is exactly who I was when I was a kid.’
“That just made me so happy to hear. They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they’re doing it so well.”
Earlier in the interview, he said Will’s struggle in Season 4 was based on him loving “his best friend but struggling with knowing if he’ll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong.”
“Will has always felt like that. All his friends, they all have girlfriends and they all fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in,” he added.
Stranger Things Season 4 is available to stream on Netflix now.